Chennai: Chief Minister, J. Jayalalithaa has urged Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to expedite clearance for Chennai Metro Rail (CMRL) phase II and phase I extension by taking up the matter with finance and urban planning departments.
The Phase I Extension from Washermanpet to Tiruvottriyur, a further 9.51 km at a cost of Rs.3,770 crore, has been recently approved by the Centre. There is a need to substantially expand Metro Rail network in Chennai to improve public transportation.
The Chief Minister also requested the Prime Minister to support the integration of CMRL with Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS), a project implemented by railways, as the state government has substantially funded MRTS.
According to her, such an integration would enable effective synergies between various modes of public transport and increase share of public transport. She also brought to Modi’s notice that CMRL has taken railway lands on long lease basis for Metro Rail Project on payment of 99 per cent of market value for 35 years extendable by 35 years. In spite of payment of 99% of land value, railways have retained the surface rights, which, she said, was unfair.
She urged him to take a policy decision in the matter. If railways need the surface rights, then they should charge only nominal/token lease rent for the land. Alternatively, full rights including surface rights should be given to CMRL by transferring the land valued at full market value as Central Government’s equity contribution to the project.